On a sunny Saturday, July 5th, a quiet ceremony was held to dedicate Manilow’s Memorial Garden in remembrance of all the special pets that have visited the Gale River Motel and have passed on in body, but live in the hearts and memories of their owners.
Manilow, a playful and much loved, companion to Barbara Drury, owner of Manilow’s Canine Playground in Leominster, MA was a frequent visitor to the Gale River Motel during his lifetime. And as Barb can attest, Manilow was gifted at making a difference in the lives of the people that he touched. His magic formed a strong bond of friendship between the owner of the Gale River Motel, Kevin Johnson and Barb as both shared their love of their canines and the mountains of New Hampshire.
When Manilow passed away several years ago, Kevin wished to extend his sympathy to Barb and proposed the creation of a memorial garden dedicated to those pets who had visited the Gale River Motel throughout the years, sharing memorable times with their owners during their visits. Kevin, having lost his own canine companion, Cali, a year earlier, realized this could be a truly special project.
The project began with the leveling of a small plot of ground and the laying out of the dimensions of the garden. The second year saw the initial planting of the garden and the spreading of bark mulch. Barb trekked to New Hampshire to observe the progress being made on the garden and contributed some plantings of her own. As the garden matured, preparations were made for the official dedication of the garden this summer. Additional plantings were placed this spring, and all was ready for the dedication ceremony this summer.
Barb traveled to the Gale River during the first weekend of July with a small urn of Manilow’s ashes. A commemorative stone identifying the garden as “Manilow’s Memorial Garden” was unveiled at the dedication ceremony. A small urn, holding some of Manilow’s remains was buried in the garden. The garden flourishes as a living memorial to the many feathered and furred visitors to the Gale River Motel, who with their owners enjoyed the pleasure of vacationing with the one’s they loved.